Top Ten

November 30, 2016

UVic proposes “globally unique” degree in Canadian, Indigenous law

The University of Victoria has proposed a joint degree in Canadian common law and Indigenous law that it says will be the first of its kind in Canada and globally unique, reports the Globe and Mail. The proposal for the program has reportedly been in the works for a decade and has been inspired in part by McGill University’s joint degree in civil and common law. UVic’s proposed program will expose students to the same subjects as a conventional law degree would, but instead of looking only at the Canadian legal system, students will study principles in the laws of First Nations based in both Canada and the US. The program aims to create graduates who will be able to use Indigenous law—along with federal and provincial laws—to develop policies related to issues such as child welfare and resource development. Globe and Mail

Keyano's post-fire reopening chronicled in Maclean’s

“It took a combination of performance, improvisation, speed and grunt work to bring back Fort Mac’s only college in time for the 2016-17 school year,” reports Maclean’s. The magazine chronicles how Keyano College used every resource at its disposal to recover from the Fort McMurray fire and to reopen on time for the 2016 fall semester. The article notes that Keyano offered residence space to staff affected by the fire and mobilized 300 relief workers to eliminate the traces of smoke damage. Keyano English and Film Studies Instructor Ryan Cox says that the trauma of the fire has had lingering effects on both him and his students. “What would make them anxious anyway has been heightened,” he says. “They’re overreacting to assignments: ‘I can’t do this.’ There’s a degree of panic. For some, it’s kind of immobilizing.” First-year student Momin Syed says there is hope, however, in the college’s reopening: “Right now, people are just confiding in themselves, but they need to realize that we were all a part of it and we can help. You kind of need to be that light in the darkness for them.” Maclean’s

LGBTQ alumni of TWU speak out against community covenant banning non-heterosexual intimacy

Gay alumni of Trinity Western University are speaking out about their experiences at the school and its controversial community covenant, reports Postmedia. All students who enroll in the school are required to sign an agreement that forbids them from sexual intimacy outside of heterosexual marriage. Alumnus Ashlee Davison recounts how the school once told her that she was “under investigation for having a relationship with another woman.” The article highlights other alumni who similarly argue that TWU should change its policy on same-sex intimacy just as it has reportedly changed its policy on alcohol use in the past. TWU spokeswoman Amy Robertson acknowledged that more needs to be done to make the school a welcoming place for everyone. “President Bob Kuhn and TWU administration are taking recent stories from LGBTQ alumni very seriously, and are committed to listening. President Kuhn has been prioritizing meeting with students who wish to share their stories,” Robertson said in a written statement. Montreal Gazette

Cost of new PSE financial aid system could rise: ON minister

The Ontario government says it may have to increase postsecondary spending next fall when it introduces its new financial aid system. This Monday, Deputy Premier and Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development Deb Matthews said it was “quite possible” the amount would rise, adding that “this is a high priority for our government, so we are going to make sure that we get it right.” The Globe and Mail reports that ON is also weighing what to do with its current 3% cap on tuition increases for most undergraduate degrees, with an announcement on allowable increases expected in January 2017. The Canadian Federation of Students has expressed concern about the possibility of rising tuition, yet Matthews told the Globe that if the CFS fully understood the financial aid redesign, it would be “cheering from the rooftops.” Globe and Mail

Campaign for women-only gym hour at Carleton sparks debate

A student-led campaign to reserve one hour of gymnasium time for women only at Carleton University has created a growing debate within the school, reports the Ottawa Citizen. The campaign was launched in early November by the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) Womyn’s Centre, in partnership with the campus Muslim Students’ Association, the Graduate Students’ Association, and a campus residence association. Program co-ordinator Sydney Schneider said a survey circulated on campus generated 1,200 responses, most of them “overwhelmingly positive,” yet a counter-petition on has garnered 130 signatures and has deemed the idea “inherently sexist.” Schneider said the gym tends to be a space where “staring, cat-calling and lewd comments” are prevalent. The counter-petition has responded that “if at any point anyone feels like they’re being intimidated or harassed, they should let the gym’s supervisor at the desk entrance know to help solve the conflict; this option is open to anyone visiting the gym.” Ottawa Citizen

Canadore, CBU sign articulation agreements

Canadore College and Cape Breton University have signed two block course transfer articulation agreements. The first of the five-year agreements will give graduates of Canadore’s environmental protection and compliance diploma program advanced standing in the third year of CBU’s four-year bachelor of health science (public health) degree program. The second agreement will create degree pathways for graduates of several Canadore business programs into CBU’s four-year bachelor of business administration degree. “It’s extremely important for our students to have educational mobility,” said Jeannette Miron, Canadore College registrar and manager of institutional research. “There is no one size fits all model. Each student brings a different set of goals with them to college and we create multiple pathways to support them in achieving their objectives.” North Bay Nugget | NationTalk | Canadore

MB students look for greater improvement after $15M student-aid revamp

“More than $15M has been spent revamping [Manitoba’s] archaic computerized student aid system and the reason the project remains unfinished is shrouded in mystery,” writes Kristin Annable for the Winnipeg Free Press. When asked about the project, a spokesperson for MB Education Minister Ian Wishart said he was “unable to comment further as a legal process is underway.” The government has reportedly spent eight years trying to update the system, which uses an interface from the early 2000s and reportedly will only allow full-time students to apply for aid online. “Many years ago, students were promised easier-to-use software for Manitoba Student Aid. For new students to post-secondary, or students from our more marginalized communities, ensuring straightforward online software is in place is essential,” said Canadian Federation of Students chairman Michael Barkman. Winnipeg Free Press

RRC, UWinnipeg, CPA Manitoba partner to provide new PSE accounting pathways

Manitoba postsecondary students pursuing careers as professional accountants have new opportunities to obtain a diploma, degree, and professional accreditation through a single pathway. A recently signed partnership between Red River College, the University of Winnipeg, and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Manitoba allows students to obtain a two-year diploma in Business Administration with a major in Accounting at Red River College, move into UWinnipeg’s Faculty of Business & Economics to obtain a three-year Bachelor degree in Business and Administration, and complete five CPA preparatory courses to meet the entrance requirements for the CPA Professional Education Program. RRC reports that this new pathway is the only one of its kind in Canada. RRC | UWinnipeg

Writing instructors have a right to expect essays written with passion: IHE contributor

“Is it outrageous that writing instructors should expect, along with fair wages and reasonable class sizes, student essays that feed their souls?” asks Irina Eremia Bragin for Inside Higher Ed. The author recounts how she first learned that students need not be English majors to write with passion, before describing more specifically how she uses assignments to get students engaged with the writing process and with their chosen topic. “Let the lawyers waste their precious hours reading mind-numbing documents,” the author concludes. “They made their Faustian bargains when they chose law school over grad school. Idealists who choose teaching writing for a profession can live without money but not without meaning.” Inside Higher Ed

UOttawa signs dual master’s agreement with Université catholique de Louvain

The University of Ottawa has signed an agreement with Belgium’s largest French-speaking university to create a dual master’s degree in criminology. The new dual master’s program between UOttawa and the Université catholique de Louvain have created this new program to allow students from either school to receive, after their two years of study, a Master of Criminology issued by the UCL, and a Master of Arts (Criminology) from the University of Ottawa. The creation of the program is reportedly part of ongoing efforts between the institutions to find more opportunities for collaboration. UOttawa